Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Margin of Error Can End with You


Whether you're voting to set your party's candidate today, will be voting for the first time in November, or will be going back to the polls then to vote based on your ballot today, it's important that you know what steps to take in the instance that something goes wrong. At the polling stations, there are always a few problems, often technical, that confuse and upset voters nationwide. Fortunately, there is something you can do if you feel that you experienced technical difficulties while at the polls.

Enter 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Also known as part of the Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS), "an integrated set of computer tools for recording and analyzing information about voting problems before, during, and after elections," this hotline could be a source to "help protect [y]our right to vote and assure that every vote is counted as cast." Through the site, you can also access important statistics on voting errors/problems in the past, including a breakdown by state. This number and website are the go-to sources in the instance that you experience any problems casting your vote.

There are other organizations looking to protect your vote as well, including, but not limited to:

The American Civil Liberties Union (http://www.aclu.org/)
Their voter site has useful information about the legal recourse you can take if your right to vote is violated as well as other historical information about voter rights legislation, including enfranchisement for formerly incarcerated citizens.

The National Campaign for Fair Elections (http://www.ncff.org/)
This group advocates for "progressive election reforms at the state and local level, litigates where voting rights are violated and brings communities together to educate and mobilize citizens about fair elections." The website has important information about pending legislation and cases regarding voters' rights. They also release reports on election protection, which can be found here.

Besides the countless information you can find here about voter registration and other election tidbits, there is also a complete list of the Secretary of State and Election Division websites (per state) as well as a link to the vote411.org Polling Place Locator, where you can find out where to vote locally.
- Wendi Muse

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